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Our Greatest Assurance: Preserved Through Faith

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The book 1 Peter was written in the backdrop of a very difficult and painful time for Christians then. After the great fire ravaged the city of Rome, some of the Romans had directed their anger and frustration towards their emperor, Nero, whom they believed had caused the fire in pursuit of his desire to build, build, build. Sadly, the solution that Nero had thought out to escape his problem was to accuse the Christians of instigating the fire. It was because of this that Christians began to be pursued and persecuted to some of the most brutal lengths. It was in this very time that the apostle Peter wrote one of the most powerful and assuring truths that believers could hold on to - and this truth is not just for the believers at that time, but even for believers of today’s time.

In the midst of the pressing reality of the believers’ suffering, Peter reminds believers of the pressing truth of their eternal salvation and the Guard of their eternal salvation. Though the life of a believer on earth may be threatened, the life of a believer in heaven is secured. Peter reminds believers of their living hope and guaranteed inheritance, that is, our hope of salvation and inheritance of eternal life with Him - and this is the very reason why Peter opens this passage by praising God. He takes their focus away from their present situation and points their focus toward the eternal God.

But as we continue to live in this fallen world where both suffering and sin seem to hound us, how can we know that we will certainly and fully realize that hope and obtain that inheritance? In other words, how can we know that we will not fall away from the faith? Peter probably knew that a question like this would arise, so he went ahead and answered it for us. He tells us that we are being guarded through faith by God’s power. If we could not obtain saving faith by ourselves, then we most certainly cannot obtain a persevering faith by ourselves as well. So when God granted us saving faith, He also promised that His divine protection and preservation would continually cover that saving faith, until the time that our salvation will be revealed in all its glory.

What a truth this is for believers! God did not just give us a one-time-only kind of faith, but a faith that He will continually work out in us by His power for our preservation. While a God-given faith was the means by which God saved us, a God-preserved faith is the means by which God continues to keep us. The very instrument He used to save us is the same instrument He uses to keep us. And that instrument is none other than faith.

It is no wonder then that Scripture repeatedly emphasizes the importance of faith. Without faith, we will only live according to the circumstances of our time. But with faith, we will live in the light of God’s gracious promise to uphold us for all of eternity.

This being said, believer, feed your faith with God’s Word consistently and intentionally. As you study, meditate, and apply God’s Word in your life, this grows and strengthens your faith in God. As your faith grows and strengthens, the saving and keeping power of God at work in your life becomes more evident and clear. And when that happens, that can only result to one declaration: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Peter 1:3)

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